The promise of social media as the top of a profitable funnel can be the shiny object of marketing tools. Converting “Likes” to leads, however, requires a strategic use of social media rather than thinking of social media simply as a broadcasting tool.
A conversion focused social media strategy should bring a lead into the marketing funnel, capture the lead, create the opportunity and incentives to convert the lead (through either a sale or a partnership or a request for further information), engage that new partner/client and motivate the partner/client to transform into a brand evangelizer by providing them with the tools and incentives to recreate the cycle.
Social Media is a massive permission based marketing opportunity for entrepreneurs.
Social media platforms are where a large pool of potential clients spend their discretionary time. Developing a brand messaging strategy to engage with these potential customers requires understanding the language spoken on each social platform and integrating the social campaign with off-line campaign.
Let’s look at a core marketing tool, Point of purchase or POP. In a grocery store, book store or other retail outlet, business owners assess the consumer’s shopping patterns within the physical store and place seasonal or promotional items in the spot most likely to be browsed by the shopper. POP pricing is set based on the #1, #2, #3 most visited spots within the retail store. For example, table displays in the center of the aisle directly inside of a bookstore or the end cap displays in your grocery store all catch your attention more than products on the shelf in their respective sections. So these POP opportunities are more expensive for the individual product producer.
But with social media, your brand can plan for high traffic POP at a fraction of the cost of retail placement. By combining promotions off-line with the focus on-line in social media, a business or brand creates the impression of being everywhere, being desirable and being important.
On-line entrepreneurs and small businesses with no physical store can plan a lead capture and conversion funnel on social media by thinking about the platform as the physical store. Paying attention to “traffic patterns” on your social sites is valuable market research about when, where and how to communicate, capture, convert, retain and inspire your social media customer.
Funnel tools, the engagement cycle and the unique social language combine to create a psychological profile of the ideal customer and a good social media strategy is constantly evolving based on that profile. Social media is a permission based marketing platform. Keeping that permission to promote is a top goal of the marketer. As long as the potential client allows a business to stay in their sphere through “likes,” comments and shares, the company has an opportunity to hone their message until they meet the needs and desires of their ideal customer and bring them deeper into the social selling cycle.
The Social Media Funnel
A social media funnel map strategy is similar to the in-person strategy and includes:
- attracting ideal client
- lead capture of highly interested
- segmentation of action takers
- target consistent offers to most likely to buy
- identify frequent buyers and make special offers
- approach power users for partnerships
- nurture success in partnership by providing tools, training and strategy leadership
Pre-Campaign Questions Every Entrepreneur Should Ask
Assessing the strategy for an individual social campaign takes into account specific goals such as recruitment, launching a new product line, increasing brand awareness, re-energizing an aging or under performing database. Pre-campaign questions for entrepreneurs and business to ask themselves might include and should address the following:
- Who is the ideal end client?
- Which social platform do they spend their discretionary time on?
- What keywords speak most directly to their passions, needs, fears, desires?
- Demographically, how comfortable are they with on-line purchasing?
- Test #1: Can they be incentivized to provide their email for a gift, a contest, special offers or other goods and/or services?
- Can your CRM identify which leads engage most often and move them into a side funnel for more targeted promotion?
- Test #2: Can this “highly interested” funnel be converted to take a monetary action?
- Segment the “highly interested” funnel list into an “action oriented” list.
- Approach the “action oriented” list with solution to their most compelling desire; earn money, have more free time, get free products, build a business, attain social status.
- Solve the compelling need through organization’s unique proposition.
A conversion based funnel cycle works because it moves a prospective client through a pre-set path of identifiers and rewards. Consistency and targeted delivery are core metrics in a successful conversion based funnel.